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Campground Host Guilty Of Murdering Girlfriend

Mon., Sept. 30, 1996

A state campground host has been convicted of first-degree murder for strangling his girlfriend in the trailer they shared.

Alfred A. Mannings, 55, showed no expression as a five-man, seven-woman Cowlitz County Superior Court jury returned the verdict Friday after deliberating for less than an hour.

On April 25 he led sheriff’s deputies to the body of Donna Lee Taylor, 53, in the trailer they shared at Seaquest State Park near Silver Lake on Washington 504, one of the main access routes to Mount St. Helens.

He said he had killed her less than an hour after a small birthday party for her four days earlier.

“He snapped,” defense lawyer Jim Morgan said in closing arguments. “In a moment of rage … (he) caused the death of someone he loved.”

Morgan argued that the killing was not premeditated, as required for a first-degree murder conviction.

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